The Peacock Feather is a collection of ten short stories by Sudhir and Sunil Kapoor, who inform us in the preface that they are monozygotic (identical) twins. They believe that monozygotic twins have a telepathic connection which has led them to this joint writing project wherein they have drawn from shared real life incidents ‘blending them , with some fictional and imaginary happenings to inculcate some twist, turns and morals in them’ (p. viii).
The subtitle to this book explains the precise perspective, namely, an analysis of attitudes towards political power in the two countries between the seventh and second centuries B.C.This is clearly an ambitious undertaking, for it is easy enough to compare superficial similarities but more difficult to assess the historical mainsprings of particular patterns…
The theme of Matira Manisha (Born Of The Soil) by Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, was inspired by Gandhian thought and principles. Published in 1931, it is regarded as a modern Odia classic and one among a few seminal novels written in the first half of twentieth century Odisha. When one talks of Matira Manisha one is reminded of The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, also published in 1931.
There is an old world charm about Kuppili Padma’s short stories collected in English translation as Salabhanjika And Other Stories. But, this oldness does not go back to the 50s or 60s. It takes time for the fact to register that there are no cell phones in her stories. A bit shocking when we discover also that there is no Facebook or Twitter or Messenger.
This book is one among a number of recent publications dealing with various aspects of the origin and development of Muslim communal politics during the national movement. Many of these—for example, Sheila Sen’s work on Bengal, A.K. Gupta’s book on the N.W.F.P and Francis Robinson’s…
In its skeletal form Swarga is the story of an environmental crime that occurred in Kerala; an account based on the author Mangad’s observations. It is a true story of the horrors inflicted on the environment by the official use of endosulfan—a banned insecticide and acaricide—that was sprayed to destroy the ‘tea-mosquito’ a nonexistent pest that supposedly destroyed plants. The real reason was that endosulphan was beneficial to the growth of Kerala’s lush cashew plantations, all of them owned by the higher echelons of society.
Awell-intentioned anthology of literary pieces from different genres and across several Indian languages by Dalit writers, excerpted and made available in English translation, this latest offering from the Oxford University Press adds a new creation: a text-book to the growing corpus of Dalit Writings.
Rajesh Kumar’s translation of Ranendra’s Global Gaon Ke Devta (itself just 100 pages) is in unpretentious Indian English. Spiced up with local dialect, it’s an easily-acquired taste. You soon find out that what this thin book contains is an endeavour to melt down a mountain of memories and extract the here-and-now from an ancient civilizational predicament.
The second volume of D.P. Mishra’s autobiography covers the years of Nehru’s ascendancy, decline and death, during the major part of which Mishra was himself in the political dog-house. For one whom his friends considered a Chanakya, Mishra shows himself by his own account to be extraordinarily…
There is a growing interest among western scholars in various aspects of South Asian languages, in general, and in Urdu in particular. However, the book under review is least about Hindi (Nagari), and very much less about what came to be known after Partition in 1947, as Pakistan. This is rather an exploration of ‘the history of Urdu literature as a sociological phenomenon’.
Editing an anthology has always been a risky proposition. One can hardly predict from which perspective the readers will look at, educationists receive and the critics evaluate it: of academic value, the representation of genres, movements and authors or the overall approach reflected in the introduction and the contents.
Yeravedekar and Tiwari have presented an insightful argument towards the need for strengthening the internationalization of higher education in India. Their rich experience as scholars as well as administrators in India and abroad has contributed to the development of meaningful insights in locating education in India within the context of neighbouring countries and the world at large.
It is hard to remember a time when ‘Higher Education’ in India was not in a ‘state of crisis’. It is equally difficult to meet a ‘stakeholder’ in the system—student, teacher, administrator, policy maker, prospective employer, educational entrepreneur, consultant or lobbyist—who would not complain about how ineffective, inefficient, corrupt, expensive, exploitative, unjust, unimaginative and soul crushing the system is. All of them concur that the existing order is unviable.
The work of years of immersion in Hindustani music, these two massive volumes are a very important contribution to the documentation and study of khayal, the preeminent genre of raga music that we recognize today as ‘classical’.
In a country where audio and filmic documentation of theatre is abysmally poor, Badal Sircar will perhaps be remembered primarily as a playwright simply because we don’t have nearly enough record of his plays in performance for future generations, and what we have is not of very good quality.
The title of Ruskin Bond’s autobiography derives from a poem he wrote some years ago and is so central to the text that it deserves retelling:
The name of Satyajit Ray, the famous filmmaker is known to film lovers across India. But most Bengalis of my generation would know that Satyajit Ray (1921–1992) was far more than an extraordinary filmmaker. He was an immensely talented music composer, a best-selling writer and one of Bengal’s most gifted illustrators and typeface designers.
M.K. Ranjitsinh’s timing is impeccable. He joined the IAS in 1961. Having gone through the obligatory training and having started his climb up the administrative ladder in the State of Madhya Pradesh, he fulfilled his childhood vow to become the Collector of Madla in 1967. Just when the last 66 barasinghas were at the fag end of their struggle for survival at Kanha enters the one Collector who had an interest in wildlife and was familiar with village resettlement for conservation (from Dungarpur and Dachigam). Supported by his superior, the redoubtable Mahesh Buch, he resettles the villages located on the Sonph grassland (an unprecedented exercise) and the barasinghas begin their recovery.
A Passionate Life is a collection of essays on Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, edited by Ellen Carol Dubois and Vinay Lal. Here is a woman, born in 1903, in a rural area in South West India, not only breaking every social and cultural norm of that era, but walking into the highest places in India’s freedom struggle. There are hardly any substantial writings by the prominent modern history scholars on this woman’s life.
Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain was first and foremost a very courageous woman who dared to fight against all odds and achieve for women a status of dignity, self-reliance and creative agency in a time and milieu that was hostile, inhospitable and even against the equal rights of men and women.